Paper No.

02243

CORROSION

2002

F L O W R E G I M E T R A N S I T I O N S IN L A R G E D I A M E T E R I N C L I N E D MULTIPHASE PIPELINES

C. Kang and W. P. Jepson Center for Multiphase Innovations, Control Center, L.L.C 4301 Metric Drive Winter Park, FL 32792

H. Wang Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology, Ohio University 340 ~AW. State Street Athens, OH 45701

ABSTRACT Experimental studies have been performed in a 10.16 cm diameter, 36 m long, multiphase flow loop to examine the flow regime maps in _+2°, _+15° and _+30° inclinations. Superficial oil velocities between 0.2 and 2.0 m/s and superficial gas velocities between 1 and 14 m/s were investigated. Oil with a viscosity of 2.5 cP was used for the study. Carbon dioxide was used for the gas phase. Temperature and pressure were maintained at 25 °C and 0.13 MPa. It was observed that the dominant regime for upward inclinations was slug flow. No stratified flow was observed for these conditions. As the angle of upward inclination increases from 2 ° to 15 ° , the transition from plug to slug flow occurs at higher superficial gas velocities. However, the transition from slug to annular flow occurred at lower superficial gas velocities. As the angle of downward inclination increases, the transition from stratified to slug flow occurs at higher liquid and gas flow rates. A considerable area of the flow regime map was found to be occupied by stratified flow with increasing downward inclination. The transition from slug to annular flow occurred at slightly higher gas flow rates when inclination was changed f r o m - 2 ° to -15 ° . However, little difference was found during the transition from slug to annular flow when the inclination was changed f r o m - 1 5 ° to - 3 0 °.
Copyright 2002 by NACE International. Requests for permission to publish this manuscript in any form, in part or in whole must be in writing to NACE International, Publications Division, 1440 South Creek Drive, Houston, Texas 77084-4906. The material presented and the views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author(s) and not necessarily endorsed by the Association. Printed in U.S.A.

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liquid velocity. At higher gas velocities. presenting flow regime maps in multiphase flow. Pseudo-slugs have a similar structure to slugs. The distances the multiphase mixture must be transported are often long and the deviations from horizontal flow are always present. wavy and rolling wave). accelerational pressure drop dominates rather than frictional pressure drop. A smooth interface exists between the liquid film flowing at the bottom of the pipe and gas above it. The multiphase mixture is transported through a single pipeline to a central gathering station since it is not practical and very expensive to separate the produced mixture of oil. and pipeline inclination. Pseudo-slugs are shorter and the frothiness is greater than in a slug flow. intermittent flow (plug flow. Here. This is similar to stratified flow except that there is an intermittent flow of the liquid slugs. pseudo-slug flow occurs. Stratified flow exists at low gas and liquid velocities. Here. gas velocity. During this transport. a successful Baker (1954) was one of the first. slug flow and pseudoslug flow) and annular flow. which leads to high corrosion rates. which have a definite effect on the corrosion rate experienced by these pipelines. Here. slug flow is a major concern since the front of the slug creates a highly turbulent mixing zone with a high void fraction. Also. 2 . An increase in the liquid velocity causes the waves to grow and fill the pipe cross section resulting in plugs of liquid with intermittent gas pockets. there is a liquid film flowing along the pipe wall with the gas in the central core. Knowing the mass velocities of the liquid and gas phases. several flow regimes occur depending on the gas and liquid flow rates. the slug flow and annular flow are a common occurrence in the petroleum industry when multiphase mixture is transported through a single pipeline to a central gathering station. At a higher gas velocity. In annular flow. diameter or inclination. These changes in inclination cause changes in the flow regime transitions and flow characteristics. the flow patterns would be predicted from the flow regime plot. The multiphase flow in horizontal multiphase pipelines results in several flow patterns such as stratified flow (smooth. This was two phase flow in small diameter pipes and did not include the effects of pressure. oil viscosity. Annular flow occurs at very high gas velocities. water cut. the typical flow pattern observed in the flow lines is slug flow. which propagate between the stratified flow. The flow regime map depends on a lot of parameters such as pipe diameter.INTRODUCTION The flow of oil-gas mixtures in pipelines is a common occurrence in the petroleum industry. Many researchers have studied multiphase flow regime maps for the creation of flow regime transition models. pipeline pressure. there is a big pressure drop in this flow condition due to the deceleration. along with the fluid properties.

Limited flow regime data exists for inclined pipes. (1972) presented a commonly used method of establishing flow regimes for inclined pipes. Their model is based on a mechanistic approach and includes five dimensionless groups to account for fluid properties. This model is currently the most widely used. The gas is then mixed with the liquid at a tee junction (C). et. al. 1980) for small diameter.Mandhane. The gas flow rate is metered with a variable area flow meter. al. et. This procedure has since become a standard in the oil and gas industry. al. it has been demonstrated by Jepson and Taylor (1993) that the transitions did not hold for large diameter pipes.1-m long flexible hose (10 cm ID). However. Stanislav. (1986) reported inclined flow pattern as compared with a modified Taitel and Dukler model in small diameter pipes.2 m 3 stainless steel storage tank (A). Taitel and Dukler (1976) proposed a mechanistic model for predicting the flow regime transitions in horizontal two phase flow. air-water flow map for horizontal. (1982) presented flow regime maps for two phase flow in downward (0 -90 °) small diameter pipes. He also proposed a model for predicting transitions in downward pipes. Carbon dioxide gas from a 20. The liquid flow rate is controlled by varying the speed of the pump using a variablespeed controller. The tank is equipped with a 3. et. Barnea. The multiphase mixture then flows through 3. low pressure using superficial liquid and gas velocities as the axes. The oil from the storage tank is then pumped into a 10-cm ID PVC pipeline by means of a 76 HP low shear progressing cavity pump (B). et. Govier.000-kg receiver (D) is introduced into the system. and two phase systems at horizontal to near horizontal pipe flow. _+15° and _+30° pipelines. allowing the inclination to be set at any angle. (1974) created a two phase.8-kW heater and 6-m long (2. EXPERIMENTAL SETUP The experimental layout of the flow loop is shown in Figure 1. Gould. Their model has been verified (Barnea. 3 . and fluid velocities. al. et. pipe diameter. (1974) introduced +45 ° and +90 ° flow regime maps.. small diameter. Table 1 shows the test matrix for the study. pipe inclination. all of these studies have been carried out in small diameter pipes However. et. Kokal and Stanislav (1986) have characterized extensively the upward and downward flow patterns.5 cm ID) stainless steel cooling coils to maintain a constant temperature. The specified amount of oil is placed in a 1. low pressure. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Experiments have been carried out to determine the flow regime maps in +2 °. al. al. The oil-gas mixture then flows into an 18-m long Plexiglas pipeline (10 cm ID) where the flow pattern is determined.

transition from plug to slug flow occurred. the height of the liquid film is higher. However. and the transition occurs near where it is expected to occur in horizontal pipes. This has been found by many other researchers (Kokal and Stanislav. For superficial liquid and gas velocities of 0.. the height of the liquid film is not significantly different from that in horizontal flow. at a superficial liquid velocity of 0.5 cP oil/CO2 for 2 ° upward inclination.2 ° downward inclination is shown in Figure 6.2 m/s. This is due to the fact that at 15 ° upward flow.5 rrds of gas velocity in 15° upward flow. Flow Regime maps in Downward Inclinations A flow regime map a t . while 8. For example. No stratified flow was observed for these conditions. As the liquid velocity was increased.). 1989. etc. In 2 ° downward flow. thus providing the gas to spread it around the pipe at higher gas velocities.2 m/s. It was noticed that inclinations from 2 ° to 15 ° were found to have an effect on the transition. The transition from slug to annular flow occurred at lower gas velocities with low liquid velocities and at higher gas velocities for the higher liquid velocities. the transition from plug to slug flow occurred at 1. the transition from stratified to slug flow becomes much more dependent upon the superficial gas velocity. It can be seen from Figure 1 that slug flow occurred at a superficial liquid velocity of 1.5 m/s of gas velocity in 2 ° upward flow and the same transition occurred at 2 m/s of gas velocity in 15° upward flow. Figure 3 presents the flow regime map for 15° upward inclination. It was observed that the dominant regime was slug flow. At lower velocities. while stratified flow occurred at superficial liquid velocities of lower than 0. At a superficial liquid velocity of 1.4 m/s. 4 . al. the transition from slug to annular flow moved to the left of the flow regime map with increase in upward inclination from 2 to 15 degrees.0 m/s.0 m/s and a superficial gas velocity of less than 10 m/s. the transition from slug flow to annular flow occurred at 9.Flow Regime Maps in Upward Inclinations Figure 2 shows the flow regime map for 100% 2.8 and 1 m/s. At a superficial gas velocity of 2 m/s. The transition from slug to annular flow did not change significantly when the pipeline was inclined from 15 ° to 30 ° as shown in Figures 3 and 4. 1996.5 m/s. annular flow was observed to occur at a superficial gas velocity as low as 9 m/s. slug flow occurred at superficial liquid velocities of greater than 0. This phenomenon was also observed by Kokal and Stanislav (1989). slug flow was obtained when the gas velocity reached 2. the transition from plug flow to slug flow occurred at slightly higher superficial gas velocities. At a superficial gas velocity of 1.0 m/s.5 rrds of gas velocity in 2 ° upward flow. At higher velocities. the gas velocity required for the transition from plug to slug flow also increased. only stratified flow was observed at all superficial liquid velocities studied.5 m/s. At a liquid velocity of 2.4 m/s. However. Here. the height of the liquid film is thinned and faster. while at a superficial liquid velocity of around 0. The differences of the transitions can be clearly noticed from the comparison of flow regime plot as shown in Figure 5. It can be seen from Figures 2 and 3 that the transition from plug to slug flow occurred at higher superficial gas velocities. Kang et. more liquid is required to bridge across the pipe.

This is due to the fact that more liquid is stored at the bottom of the pipe. not much difference was found during the transition from slug to annular flow when inclination was changed f r o m .1 5 ° to .1 5 ° inclinations was occupied by slug flow. A similar trend has been noticed in small diameter pipes by Barnea et.It was noticed from Figures 2 and 6 that the transition from slug to annular flow occurred at higher superficial gas velocities i n . A considerable area of the flow regime map was found to be occupied by slug flow i n . the transition from slug to annular flow occurred at lower superficial gas velocities.5 m/s in +2 ° inclination. Figure 7 shows the flow regime map i n . However. However.2 ° inclination occurred at a superficial gas velocity of 10. The transition from slug to annular flow did not change significantly when the pipeline was inclined from 15 ° to 30 °. For example. The transition from slug to annular flow occurred at lower gas velocities with low liquid velocities and at higher gas velocities for the higher liquid velocities. at superficial liquid velocity of 0.3 0 ° .1 5 ° downward flow. The differences of the transitions can be clearly noticed from the comparison of flow regime plot as shown in Figure 9. the gas velocity required for the transition from plug to slug flow also increased. +_15° and _+30° inclinations in large diameter pipes. the transition from slug to annular flow occurred at a superficial gas velocity of 10.2 ° to .2 ° inclination than in +2 ° inclination. (1982).5 m/s.2 ° inclination. while 9. However. CONCLUSIONS Flow regime maps have been determined in _+2°.2 ° inclination. • 5 . it was observed that the dominant regime was slug flow. al. They found that the transition from slug to annular flow up to about 70 ° downward inclination occurs at high gas flow rates. No stratified flow was observed for these conditions. but only a small region at high gas and liquid velocities i n . Similar trends have been observed in _+15° and +_30° . As the liquid velocity was increased.1 5 °.5 and 2 m/s f o r . stratified flow i n 15 ° inclination was found.5 m/s. the transition from stratified to slug flow shifted to the right with increasing downward inclination as shown in Figure 8. at a superficial liquid velocity of 0.2 ° inclination. thus providing the gas to spread it around the pipe at higher gas velocities. the transition from plug to slug flow occurred at slightly higher superficial gas velocities. For example. However. In -30 ° inclination. The transition from plug to slug flow occurred at higher superficial gas velocities with increase in upward inclination. at superficial liquid and gas velocities of 0. slug flow was noticed.5 m/s. Flow Regime Maps in Upward Inclinations • • • • For upward inclinations. at the same liquid flow rate and gas velocities of less than 4 m/s. the transition annular flow in . while 11.5 rrds f o r .5 m/s f o r . For example. Further downward inclination caused the transition from stratified to slug flow to occur at higher liquid and gas flow rates. The transition from slug to annular flow occurs at slightly higher gas flow rates when inclination is changed f r o m .1 5 ° inclination at the same liquid flow rate.

New York. G. W.. 735-740." J. Baker. T. Kokal. R. O. D. 4.. F. P. As the angle of downward inclination increased. Govier.. 26. W." Int. "Two Phase Flow Through Vertical. Taitel. 2. and Stanislav. E. 915-926. and Dukler.1 5 °. The author would also like to thank Dr. 1974. J. the transition from stratified to slug flow occurred at higher liquid and gas flow rates.. 585-596. Y. Shoham.. S. "Flow Pattern Transition for Downward Inclined Two Phase Flow. Multiphase Flow. 1980. R. 1982. O. Denver. Horizontal to Vertical. K. The Flow of Complex Mixtures in Pipes. A considerable area of the flow regime map was found to be occupied by stratified flow with increasing downward inclination.. M. 217-225. D. 1974. L. 1954. CO. "An Experimental Study of Two Phase Flow in Slightly Inclined Pipes-I. J.Flow Regime maps in Downward Inclinations • • • The transition from stratified to slug flow becomes much more dependent upon the superficial gas velocity. Barnea. 20. 411-420. 1. Wilkens.. Multiphase Flow. and Taylor." Int.. Flow Patterns. 10." NACE 96. • REFERENCES 1. 8.. J." Chemical Engineering Science. P. L. not much difference was found during the transition from slug to annular flow when inclination was changed from-15 ° to -30 °. 185. and Taitel. C. Y." Oil and Gas J. Barnea. Kang.. 5. M. A. "Flow Pattern Transitions for Gas-Liquid Flow in Horizontal and Inclined Pipes" Comparison of Experimental Data with Theory. 53. and Katz. 3. Tech. O. 1996. Mandhane... Shoham. 6.195. 44. E. "Slug Flow and Its Transitions in Large-Diameter Horizontal Pipes.." Int. 7. 1972. "The Effect of Slug Frequency on Corrosion in High Pressure.. 6. Inclined Pipelines. 665-679. and Dukler. and Aziz." Chemical Engineering Science. and Aziz. The transition from slug to annular flow occurred at slightly higher gas flow rates when inclination was changed f r o m . 3. "Simultaneous Flow in Oil and Gas. Van Norstrand Reinhold. Jepson. 1989. Petrol. Multiphase Flow.. J. 6 ." Int. 1993. Tek.. "A Model for Slug Frequency During Gas-Liquid Flow in Horizontal and Near Horizontal Pipes. K. J. However. Y.. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to acknowledge the corrosion center at Ohio University and the companies involved with it for giving permission to present this work. 19. L. Inclined. "A Flow Pattern Map for Gas-Liquid Flow in Horizontal Pipes: Predictive Models. A. Gould.. and Jepson. Paper No. Alexander. 9. Multiphase Flow. E. G. D. A.. 1977. or Curved Pipes.2 ° t o . W. Gregory.. 37. J. Taitel. 537-553.

Pum p C. Gas Tank E.14 ngs 0.0 m/s Carbon dioxide Light oil. _+15.. Mixing Tee D.13 _+2.Outlet Gas I I 1 Figure 1.TABLE 1 TEST M A T R I X F O R T H E STUDY Property Water cut (%) Pressure (MPa) Inclination (degrees) Temperature (°C) Superficial gas velocity Superficial liquid velocity Gas Oil Range 0 0.5 cP A. E x p e r i m e n t a l Layout of the Flow Loop A 7 .2. Pressure Tappings F. _+30 25 1 . Storage Tank B. 2.2 . Flexible Hose "1 E 18 m Inclined Section () DO Flow meter E F F .

.... . . . .0. . P .... .. . .. . .. | . . .... ... I .5 cP Oil/Gas. . .. ... I . .. .. . . .. . .. .. . ..6 0... m/s FIGURE 2.3 0. .. ...13 MPa 2 20 8 . .8 0.. . . . .. . ....9 0. FIGURE 3........5 cP Oil/Gas. . . . .... ...5 0. . . . .. ... . .. Flow Regime Map in +2 Degrees 100% 2.. ... .. . .. Flow Regime Map in +15 Degrees 1 0 0 % 2. .4 0. l i ! .... I) . . . ..'" ! .2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 20 Superficial Gas Velocity.. . .. . .4 0... .8 oci ty. Slug Flow E II II [] II II = II E II II Annular Flow l n = n n l ~ l I 3 4 5 6 7 8910 Superficial Gas Velocity....." pe rfi ci al Li q ui d V AI 1 0. 0... .7 m/ 0. . ... P = 0. Slug Flow Annular Flow 0... .. .. ... ..6 s 0. ... . . . ... .7 0.. I . . . .Su per fici al Liq uid Vel 0.3 0. .. . . .. ... . .. . II E n u II E i ... .... .2 - . .. .13 MPa S U Plug Flow +++~ 0 0°°° o. .. .5 0... .

.5 cP Oil/Gas. .5 0. .7 0. P = 0.. FIGURE 5.2 Su pe rfi cia I Liq 1 uid 0. m/ s 0.13 MPa S U Plug FI 1 0.7 ty.. ... Flow Regime Map in +30 Degrees 100% 2. +30 inclination I I I £ £ £ == P er fi ci al Li q ui d II C C C == .9 0.13 MPa 9 .5 cP Oil/Gas.6 0. + 15 inclination . P = 0.8 oci 0.2 I I I J I I |J I I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 20 Superficial Gas Velocity. m/s FIGURE 4. .4 0.3 +2 inclination ..9 Vel 0..3 i Plug Flow .5 0..6 0.4 0." 20 0. Comparison of Flow Regime Map 100% 2.S"S*°'* I I I j m Slug Flow Annular Flow I 0..-= Slug Flow C == := Annular Flow I.. .2 2 3 4 5 6 78910 Superficial Gas Velocity.8 0.

.5 0. m m *...2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 20 Superficial Gas Velocity...9 0. m/ s $ $ m m m 1 0............4 0..... m/s FIGURE 7..........4 0. Flow Regime Map in -2 Degrees 100% 2..7 0........ P = 0........5 0....3 Stratified Flow * nm nl II An~ular Flow E I II 0.5 cP Oil/Gas.....Su pe rfi ci al Li qu id Ve Io cit Y.. Flow Regime Map in-15 Degrees 100% 2.=u = 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 20 Superficial Gas Velocity.8 0...2 2 I I I I n n . m/s FIGURE 6.. ~ $ $ $ m ..... % Slug Flow NI mm mm m il m [] n 0..6 0... m/ s 1 0..7 0.6 ... P = 0..5 cP Oil/Gas.....3 Slug Flow Stratified Flow ! I ~kl I I I I I I Flow 0.......8 0..13 MPa $ $ I Su pe rfi ci am Li qu id Ve Io cit Y............ ~ .13 MPa 10 .....................9 0.

... %** i j ~........5 cP Oil/Gas.. . %... ..2 2 I I n ~ I ~ I i 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 20 Superficial Gas Velocity.5 0. -° t ~ %.... P = 0. . Slug Flow :1 . ~~ .=u I • 0.. ....7 ty.6 0..13 MPa 2 Su pe rfi cia m °% . .2 Su pe rfi cia t " t - m m I : I l• Slug Flow I ........ .3 - .. ............ P = 0. m/s FIGURE 8.*...... ...¢ I Liq 1 uid 0.*..... . .....9 Vel 0.. .... .o Anl~ular Flow I I %Oon '4 m 0. m/ s 0.. .. Comparison of Flow Regime Map 100% 2. m/s FIGURE 9. ! i | _ Stratified Flow "*'. .. . .. \ == I \ * % ¢ < Stratified I == -2 -15 -30 I I ~ I n I .9 Vel 0.. Z •% \ ¢ \ \.2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 20 Superficial Gas Velocity.5 cP Oil/Gas. < .3 1 n~ular Flow .7 ty. 0. . .. m/ s 0.. .5 0.4 0.. ..8 oci 0...4 % . m Ig Liq 1 uid 0.13 MPa 11 ..6 0.8 oci 0. . ~ | : _ \ ~.... Flow Regime Map in -30 D e g r e e s 100% 2.... .... .

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